UNCSON Receives Prestigious RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars Grant

Once again, sizable matching private donations from Carolyn London, BSN ’56 and the Carl Swisher Foundation help bring the grant to Carolina Nursing


The UNC School of Nursing is once again among a select group of schools of nursing to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The 31 selected schools comprise the fifth cohort of grantees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program, which will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years. Carolina Nursing will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship.

“Our fifth cohort of Scholars will join an impressive group of nurse researchers who are already making significant contributions to the field. This program is designed to empower nurse leaders to progress efficiently. The selected scholars will complete their PhDs in an expedited three year time frame,” said Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director and the Nightingale professor of nursing and the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates. While enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased exponentially, PhD enrollment has seen less growth. The Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed to increase PhD-prepared nurses. Doing so will ensure that more nurses are conducting vital research and will also help address the nurse faculty shortage.

The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. For the second time, the UNC School of Nursing received critical matching funds from alumna Carolyn London ‘BSN 56 and the Carl S. Swisher Foundation to bring the grant to Carolina.

The SON will select two scholars who will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer, and their PhD studies in the fall.

“We are delighted, of course, to be among the few schools selected to participate in the final cohort of the Future of Nursing Scholars program,” said Nena Peragallo Montano, dean of the UNC School of Nursing. “It is a testament to the strength of our current Future of Nursing Scholars and to our PhD program, and we are pleased to be able to contribute so efficiently to increasing the pipeline of doctorally prepared nurse researchers and scholars.”

“When this program concludes, we will have graduated more than 200 PhD prepared nurses. RWJF is thrilled to see the program succeed so well, and we are very thankful for the other funders who have joined us in support of this work,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.
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For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

At the UNC School of Nursing, we graduate exceptionally prepared nurse leaders, and promote the science, art, and profession of nursing for the greater good. For more than 65 years, our committed focus on meeting the health needs of the people of North Carolina through teaching, research and service has led to the advancement of health care and improved lives the world over.